Kent Shaffer is an influencer, a creative and innovative genius, and apparently never sleeps. One of the best church leadership blogs I follow is Church Relevance. It is considered an honor to be considered for one of Kent’s lists of top churches or top Christian blogs. He is the co-founder of Acre Scout, which helps connect buyers to commercial real estate, including churches. He is an active part of Lifechurch.tv. He consults regularly for churches and ministries wanting to become more effective and efficient. You can follow Kent on Twitter HERE.
Here are 10 questions with leader Kent Shaffer:
When you were growing up, is this what you thought you would be doing vocationally? If not, what did you want to do?
Growing up I had regular intervals where I expected to have a career in ministry when I was older. I also had seasons of expecting to be a fireman, policeman, spy, comedian, mechanical engineer, artist, or marketer. But I never fathomed (even a few years ago) being able to have the career and opportunities that I have today.
What’s the most different job you’ve had from what you are doing now and how did that job help you with what you are doing now?
It is hard to label one job as the “most” different. I’ve had a handful of odd jobs that have all taught me something. Working at a movie theater taught me that the quality of the grunt workers in the trenches often makes or breaks an organization. Working as a site coordinator for an intramural sports league taught me that conflict is inevitable and should never be neglected. Working as a local band manager taught me the importance of viewing your organization through the eyes of your audience and not rose-colored glasses. I’ll save some of the other stories for another time.
Who is one person, besides Christ, who most helped to shape your leadership and how did they help you?
I had the privilege to work for and be mentored by Jim Wideman who is considered by many to be a pioneer of modern children’s ministry. He taught me how to develop leaders, manage them, and create efficient systems.
Besides the Bible, what is one book that has most helped to shape your thought process in life and ministry?
Another mentor of mine, a marketing professor named Dan Fisher, recommended that I read Coercion by Douglas Rushkoff. It is not the most impactful book I’ve read, but it was the catalyst that got me started exploring the importance of behavioral science in ministry. It led me to learning from Malcolm Gladwell, Paco Underhill, Jim Collins, and many others.
What are three words other people would use to describe your work style/ethic?
Comprehensive, Strategic, & Unconventional
What is your greatest strength in leadership?
What is your greatest weakness in leadership?
Either insensitivity or too high of expectations.
What is the hardest thing you have to do in leadership?
Follow through with necessary confrontation even if it will cause change that I dread.
What is one misconception about your position you think people in your church may have?
I have a bivocational role with the non-profits I help. At my church, LifeChurch.tv, I work primarily with their Digital Mission Initiatives and sometimes assist or talk ideas with the curriculum development, leadership development, or campus teams. The biggest misconception that people have about my role is simply understanding what it is. As a volunteer, I have the opportunity to switch departments and collaborate in whatever department needs me the most. In contrast, staff positions typically have a more rigid department focus.
If you could give one piece of advice to young leaders from what you’ve learned by experience, what would it be?
Put your benchmarks against what God says is possible and not what man has achieved.
Has Kent’s ministry impacted you as much as it has me?